Wednesday, July 29, 2009

24 Query Contest

Dear Ms. Meadows,

I am seeking publication for my first novel, a completed urban fantasy of approximately 70,000 words. It is my hope that my work would be a good fit for Rappaport Agency and that my submission is up to both your and Kippy's standards.

Try being hunted for a day. Know that every minute of every day, there is that something about you that awakens predators of every kind. Know that the predators will single out and pick you. Face the fear and know how strong a person must be to survive to see every new day.

In a world where the supernatural is hidden by the veneer of human disbelief, Aine was raised in the melting pot of human cultures where she could grow up free of the stigma of half breed. However, power calls to power. Darkness picks her out and hunts her. Aine's dormant magic roars into life, saving her and making her known to the legends from both sides of her heritage. Aine will travel from the new world to the world of faery. From there she will chase objects of myth and magic around the world as her father did before her. Her travels will take her to her mother's people, unlocking the dual nature of her powers, but the price of her mother's heritage is the touch of an eight headed dragon. A touch that incites the hunger of every predator, marking her so that the beast can hunt her and feast.

Mischief's Daughter is Aine's story. It is a tale with the mystique of Eastern mythology to spice up the lives of the Western fae. Although Mischief's Daughter stands alone as a novel, I have outlines for two related stories within the same world following the concept of introducing Eastern mythology to the already well-loved fae, werewolves and vampires of the West.

Included is a 250 word sample. I would love the opportunity to send you the full manuscript and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time and attention.

Kind regards,

Aine walked briskly out of the building, scanning the street to her right and left before heading for the nearest subway access. Night had fallen on the city of Philadelphia while she had been working. With the retreat of the day, city lights came to life along the riverfront. The haze left behind from the heat of summer dispersed the electric lights, giving the city the look of being out of focus.

The general bustle at this time of day was always hectic, but there was more haste than could be attributed to evening rush hour. The metallic tang of fear was in the air and Aine could see people scattered through the crowd shiver as if a cold touch had brushed their spine. Normal people dismissed the feelings and hurried home, reassuring themselves with the comfort of reaching their own sanctuaries. But Aine wasn’t normal.

Wary, Aine scowled at the deepening shadows on the street. Her photo shoot had run late and she’d taken time to change and remove the highly stylized makeup before leaving. Fashion was like a business suit. She wore it when she was on the job and ditched it as quickly as possible in favor of a more comfortable self when each modeling job was done. The only hint left of the modeling aspect of her life was the pair of cute heels she wore with her jeans. She'd forgotten to pack her sneakers and unfortunately, it felt like she might need them.

Lucky her.


  1. I'm hooked by the query. It feels a bit like Melissa Marr and Suzanne Collins. On to the pages...

    There was a lot of description in that first page, but you do maintain a hint of fear and good voice with that final "Lucky her." Although I think some more white space would work to your advantage with these pages, I would read more.

  2. Pretty good. Not necessarily my cup of tea though. I feel like you can nix the entire first paragraph of the query, or most of it.

    I wasn't hooked enough to keep reading, but that may very well be because I don't generally read this genre.

  3. I really enjoyed the set-up in the "Try being hunted for a day" paragraph, but you kind of lost me in the next paragraph, where it seemed like a lot of information without any specifics was being thrown at me. Regardless, I was curious enough to read on and did find your 250 words intrigueing. I would read on.

  4. I'm not hooked. The second paragraph starts off well but it gets a little repetitive. Also, I'd care a little more about Aine (great name, by the way) if I knew more about this heritage that she claims. You could probably leave out some details about what she's going to do because they all jumble together until nothing stands out.

  5. Query: Yes. Hooked....

    Fairies aren't my thing... I'd really hope you give the 'faery' a different spin than the usual.

    Snippet: Yes, hooked.

  6. Hooked. They both caught my attention, and I would probably read it to find out what happens.

    Good luck!

  7. Hooked.
    I'm curious about the MC's age. I found the third paragraph a bit wordy and confusing but I like this kind of story so I read the first page.

    I'd lose the first paragraph and even the first line of the second. The "metallic tang of fear" is where I became interested.

  8. You hooked me with the first paragraph of your blurb (Try being hunted...) but then you lost me with the second paragraph, which is not only too long (you could easily break it up into two paragraphs) and vague (she chases objects, unlocks her unspecified dual nature, and travels). What if you cut everything after "...both sides to her heritage" and then tell us what the heroine's primary conflict and primary story goal are?

  9. I really felt the first paragraph was awkward. You're switching from being hunted one day to being hunted every day. I had to read it several times to figure out what you were trying to say.

    I hope this helps and good luck!

  10. I thought this was good overall, both the query and the sample. I'd leave out the bit about hoping your work is up to the standards of Jodi and Kippy though. I think it sounds a bit apologetic. Just the first part of the sentence about hoping it's a good fit is enough.

    I thought the second paragraph was very good, but would be stronger with the removal of most of the 'that's. I also think there's some good advice in the comments about the third paragraph of the query.

  11. I'm not hooked. When you wrote "Try being hunted for a day", I thought, "No thanks." Then it seemed to take a really long time for you to get to your point, that your MC is a half breed who has to run around the world of faery to find magical objects? It wasn't a strong enough hook to make me read the sample page.

  12. I was hooked enough to read through the first part of the query but began to get bogged down in the third paragraph. There's a lot of info but the main conflict isn't clear. What's the point of Aline's search? I don't see a convincing reason for why she puts herself at risk.

    I was about to pass but then skipped ahead to the partial and was impressed by the writing. There was enough of interest here that if I were an agent I would ask to see more. If the query's problems are addressed I would say this has a good chance of going somewhere.

  13. Please don't apologize for your work.

    Better to revise and make your query shine and show more action. As it stands, it's a bit boring and I didn't read on. Show us some specifics in your query.

    Good luck

  14. The paragraph about being hunted took too long to make its point. I like the idea, but get right to the meat of the idea, rather than repeat yourself; I'd be afraid the manuscript might read the same way.

    I'd also move the title to the first paragraph, along with the wordcount. (Or move all that down.) I usually look for those to be together, and when they're not...I thought you didn't have a title.

    The future tense in the blurb kind of threw me. Most are just in past (for backstory) and present (for the current story). You do want to be noticed for being different, don't want to be *too* different. :)

    I'm not really a fairy fan, but I'd probably read more of this to see how the writing held up. I like what I've seen so far, but I'd definitely hope something more happens on page two.